The Silly Season in the Verizon IndyCar Series has been extremely quiet, which comes as no surprise. The only major question mark after Sonoma was whether or not Josef Newgarden was going to return to CFH Racing, which he did. Though no significant driver movement is expected, there has been some question regarding the future of Tony Kanaan. That question was answered today, as Chip Ganassi Racing made the official announcement that Kanaan would return to the No. 10 car next year, with NTT Data.
The 2013 Indianapolis 500 winner and 2004 series champion will return for his third year with the team in 2016. Kanaan is already the all-time leader in consecutive starts. He will make his 250th straight start at the season-opening race at St. Petersburg. The 2016 campaign will be the 19th IndyCar season for Kanaan. The Brazilian has won 17 races during his career, and has one win and nine podium finishes in his two years with Ganassi.
Kanaan believes they are building something special, and feels right at home with the team and sponsor: “It feels really great to be back with NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2016 Verizon IndyCar Series season. 2015 was kind of a roller coaster of a season with some really solid results and some not so great results, but our top-five finish and Dixon’s Championship in Sonoma was a really positive way to go into the off-season for the whole team. I’ve worked with some great people at NTT DATA over the past few years and I’ve been able to use their strengths and assets to better myself as a driver, and being able to do that has just made our partnership that much stronger. I feel very good about the 2016 season and I want nothing more than to get NTT DATA Chip Ganassi Racing their first of many wins.”
Kanaan will turn 41 on December 31, but still believes he has plenty left in the tank. He proved that earlier this year, when he was part of Ganassi’s winning team at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, teaming up with Scott Dixon, Kyle Larson, and Jamie McMurray. Last year Kanaan recorded three podium finishes and finished eighth in the final championship standings. He had an average start of 7.6 and a 9.9 average finishing position, and led a total of 213 laps.